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Research projects

The Normative Foundations for Integrated EU Criminal Justice: Powers, Limits and Justifications

About this project

Project information

Project status

In progress 2022 - 2023


Jacob Öberg

Research subject

Should the EU legislate in the field of criminal law? The answer to this fundamental question is not self-evident. Not long time ago, criminal law fell entirely outside the European integration project. Today, the EU enjoys extensive powers in the field, including competences to harmonise domestic criminal law and to engage in operational law enforcement activities via Europol, Eurojust and the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. Whereas increasingly relevant for combatting cross-border crime, the exercise of any public power in the field of criminal law entails severe consequences for individuals. Also, the EU’s legislative activity can be perceived as a threat to member state sovereignty. The overall aim of the Project is to investigate whether there exist compelling normative justifications to justify such significant alterations in national criminal justice systems that the EU’s legislative activity entails. The Project synthesises the applicant’s previous work on the limits of the EU’s powers in the field of criminal law and seeks to complete ongoing work on a monograph planned to be published with a leading international publisher. It aims to make a significant contribution to the academic and political debate on EU criminal policy by offering the first-ever comprehensive and integrated normative framework for assessing the rationale for EU action in criminal law.


Research funding bodies

  • The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences